Tomas and I have been so humbled by everyone’s response since announcing our adoption. It’s crazy how much of a community we have and such a blessing to have all of you rallying behind us in this. We definitely don’t take that for granted and truly treasure what a blessing it is.
Since announcing on Monday to you all I feel like I have been so emotional, like at any moment I could cry (and might have). These are happy tears of course, because I really feel so honored that God has placed this on our hearts and we are pursuing a family this way. It’s almost difficult to articulate but I feel like God chose us for some little girl out there and I feel so humbled by it.
So I have never been one of those people that God wakes up in the middle of the night to pray for something (or maybe I just slept through it, *cringe face*) but since we started pursuing adoption from foster care I feel like there will be nights I just can’t fall asleep and I will be feel this nudge to start praying for our daughter. This actually happens a few times a week and I can’t shake it or sleep so I just lay there in bed and pray.
It’s crazy to think she’s out there in the world already and chances are she is probably in a less than ideal situation (ugh as I type this tears stream), so I do feel a connection to her already and since I can’t physically do anything in this moment I have to pray. Thankfully, it is one of the most powerful things that we can do. I know that God is taking care of this little girl no matter what the situation is and until she is in our arms, we will pray.
Hi everyone!!! Super exciting news, we am so excited to FINALLY share we are adopting! I know you all have questions and we have answers, so we are going to try to do our best in explaining as much as possible and bringing you guys along this journey with us!
So why don’t you already have kids?
Glad you asked 😉 So we are extreme planners. We think through everything, are not very impulsive at all, and really think about the magnitude of every decision we make. This is part of the reason (OK a lot of the reason) of why we have been married for 8 years and don’t have kids. I know they say there isn’t ever a good time, but I do believe there is a better time and up until this time in life it just never seemed like we could have kids and really enjoy it, without being pulled in a million different directions. We got married in school, then both did our masters, then Tomas started his business, and then I started mine, so pretty nonstop. Things are finally kinda starting to calm down, or at least have gained a rhythm, so towards end of 2016 we started to have a conversation about it. Plus I just turned 30, and honestly it really made me start thinking about the kid chapter in life because lets be real I’m not getting any younger 😉 .
So why adoption?
So when we started talking about having kids we also started praying about it a bunch. Even when were dating we talked about how we would one day like to adopt and like most we said we would have a couple of our biological children and then adopt after. Well after we started praying about it, we were like what about adoption first? We couldn’t think about a reason why not to, only all the positives as to why is was a good idea, the main one being we could provide a loving home for a child that is in real need and we have a lot of love to give! Done and done. That was all we needed.
How did you know you wanted to adopt?
I think it was several different things. I think God just makes certain things tug at your heartstrings and makes us really aware of them. I felt like God planted the seed in our hearts and we couldn’t get it out of our minds, even if we started thinking about starting a family biologically it just didn’t feel right, We just had so much peace about adoption. When I started researching, I went onto Heartland’s website (a government adopting and foster agency) and they actually have pictures of kids up for adoption with small bios. When I saw it I legit started bawling. Not like a cute sniffle, like snot hysterics and I couldn’t control myself. I was in the living room and Tomas got home and came over to me thinking something was seriously wrong. I never ever cry like that you guys, and I had no idea what came over me.
God had put something in my heart, and there was nothing taking it out.
What is the process like?
After praying about it for a bit we started to do some research, adoption is pretty broad and can look a lot of different ways. What we are doing is adopting through Heartland a government adoption agency in Polk County. These are kids that were taken out of their home with their parents rights terminated for usually some type of trauma related reason (abuse, drugs, neglect, ect.). They are then placed in a foster home or a group home and are up for adoption. We decided this was the best fit for us because we didn’t really feel a nudge to go international and we really felt compelled to help these particular kids. In November, we got in touch with Heartland and Tomas and I went to orientation in December.
In January, we started our adoption classes. This is an eight-week program that you go through that helps prepare and equip you for adopting, and then the home study follows. We just finished the classes! We haven’t done the home study yet but basically a social worker comes to your house and interviews us for hours and then they check out our home, collect all the “homework” you have been working on in your class and it basically becomes like your resume for adopting. They use that “book” to match you with potential kids based on all the information compiled. Our home study will most likely be in April/May.
Do you struggle with infertility?
The short answer is no. Tomas and I have not really ever tried to get pregnant outside of for a few months’ a couple years ago, actually right before I started Balance Culture. Once the studio became a reality we stopped trying right away. Since then we would maybe remove any barriers 😉 here and there but I always freaked out with the amount we had going on so we would put an end to that. We still plan to have our own biological kids in the future but for those wondering not anytime soon. We want to adopt first, enjoy it and then cross that bridge awhile later. That’s like asking a mom would just had a baby two months ago when she is having the next one, you might get a death stare, in a weird way that’s how I feel, I’m like let me tackle this whole thing and enjoy time with this child first 🙂 .
When will you get your child?
I have no idea. Because we want a younger (under 5) little girl, it might take a little longer. I don’t want to guess and be completely wrong but maybe by the end of the year?
Is it weird that your best friend (Ruthie) is pregnant and you’re adopting?
Not at all! It is actually so much fun! We are kinda going through the same thing but in completely two different ways. Funny story, actually when I told Ruthie that Tomas and I were going to be adopting, she was already a couple weeks pregnant we just had no idea! A week later she found out, so we have been on this journey together, just in our own ways! Side note, I couldn’t be more obsessed with her baby boy!!
Will you still be running The Balance Culture once you get your child?
Absolutely! If anything now I would have an even greater “why”! Ruthie and I knew we were going to be having kids eventually and set the business up to run efficiently, full of system and programs, you know all the fun things! 🙂 We will still work and we will be moms, we are pumped!
We are so excited to take you guys on this journey with us! Tomas and I decided a long time ago that we wanted every area of our lives to have an impact in the Kingdom. We are so excited to not only have the opportunity to love this precious child but to impact her in away that effects her eternity. We are so blessed to have a tiny Czernek world changer in our very near future! Thank you all for all the love and support!
SOOO many amazing things happening with The Balance Culture. I find myself constantly pinching myself, is this real life?!?! For those of you would don’t know, we are currently taking on our next big mission at the studio, which is adding a whole Spin studio. When we expanded the studio we definitely had this in mind but there is so many moving parts we just started taking steps and researching to see how it would all come together.
We applied for a grant for the Spin bikes with Catapult and just last week we pitched for them and got it! It was such a cool experience and we are so thankful for the support entrepreneurs have in Lakeland, that this is even a possibility. Since then we have been in full Spin mode and plan to get the classes up and running by this summer! More deets to come!
Something else I wanted to share with you guys was a video that Myles Shank made for us to use for promos. I am OBSESSED with it you guys! It was so cool for me to see all aspects of The Balance Culture in one 3 minute video and hear a story of a life being impacted. I was so humbled as I watched, I can’t believe God chose me to be apart of this, I am also thankful for the team that has come behind this movement and makes everything possible. We are 35 team of women with a huge mission!
Take a look at the video, we are just getting started! Let’s fly!
P.S. Shout out to Myles! He seriously killed it! If you are needing some video definitely hit him up, he is so talented it is ridiculous! Link>>>>> www.mylesshank.com
I posted how I make my bulletproof coffee on my Instagram story a few weeks ago and got so many questions about it so I thought it would be easiest to just write a full post about it 🙂 .
Tomas and I have been drinking bulletproof coffee for almost a year and I am telling you guys it has been a game changer. We make ours a little different than most because we add protein powder to it. This is because we both workout in the morning so it almost counts as our first meal of the day keeping us full until we have a real breakfast around 10:00/11:00am.
It fills us up, gives us a massive energy jolt and helps us to focus like crazy. I feel like I drink this coffee and right afterwards I feel like I can do anything. It sounds dramatic but it’s true!
It is a high fat coffee drink and the high fats help with brain clarity and fog. Fat is essential for proper brain function and when you are waking up and filling yourself with the right fats right away your brain gets fueled and you feel it!
My business consultants call it my coffee crack because I am on another level when I drink it, lol.
The fats include butter and MCT powder. MCT is a more refined version of coconut oil. I don’t like using coconut oil because it was hurting my stomach but when I switched it the MCT powder it helped make my coffee creamier and my stomach was fine. Many of you guys went and purchased it after my Instagram story and told me it was a game changer, so I know I’m not the only one.
The grass-fed butter is a brand called Kerry Gold and you can buy it almost anywhere. I freaking love butter and this is the best one out there!
We use Quest chocolate protein. It’s low in sugar and high in protein. It tastes awesome and is the perfect addition to the coffee making it taste almost like a mocha.
We also add stevia which is a natural sweetener, you can buy it anywhere as well.
Coffee wise, we like any brand of coffee but we specifically like Arabica beans. It’s just a type of coffee bean that we prefer but you can really use any coffee.
Additional benefits of bulletproof coffee:
- Hormonal balance
- Clear skin
- Weight loss
- Less sugar cravings
- Improved sleep
- Decrease in tiredness and more energy!
- MCT powder (2 scoops)
- Quest chocolate protein powder (1/2 Scoop)
- Kerrygold butter (2 tbsp)
- Coffee (10 cups, *Tomas and I split this, and usually have some left over if we want an afternoon cup)
- Stevia (5-7 packets) *optional we just like it sweet
- Brew coffee
- Add the hot coffee to blender (i use a Vitamix but you can use Nutribullet or a regular blender)
- Add the rest of the ingredient and blend until it’s frothy (about 1 minute for us)
- Pour and drink 🙂 *it should look like a latte!
I’ll have to do another post about the whole Ketogenic diet in the future which bulletproof coffee is a big part of, and something Tomas have been doing for a few months.
We had only been open nine months and I was confronted with the reality that we were we were out growing our studio space. I wrestled with this being the biggest blessing but also feeling like this whole thing was moving so fast and I felt a little out of control (of course exactly where God wanted me 😉 ). I came to the realization that if we didn’t move/find a bigger location that we were going to have to start turning women away.
The wanting to stay comfortable side of me, really wanted to stay where we were with what we had. We had full classes, 15 instructors, 7 interns, money coming in, and low overhead. It was a sweet spot, all manageable, and all in my control. (famous last words 😉 )
Then the reality of having to turn women away really began hit me. I became super confronted with the idea of how my comfort came with a cost. I would have to say “no” to women who built The Balance Culture into their day. “No” to women who had found The Balance Culture as a safe place to workout and feel their best. “No” to allowing them to continue to build relationships because we couldn’t fit their friends. “No” to the life changing impacts that we were hearing about daily. The pain of this reality became too much to handle that I began to think of the other options.
The pain of turning women away, trumped my desire to remain comfortable.
The second I made this decision, the doors flew open. If I were to write every detail of everything God did during this season it would be it’s own book so I’ll just share the main highlights. 😉
The first thing I did was contact Cory Petcoff with Baron Realty who is our current landlord/ owner of our building. I reached out to him first for a majority of reasons, two of the main ones being he is one of the most awesome business men I have ever met. He has believed in The Balance Culture since day one and his support has been a big reason as to why we even exist in the first place. I knew he would be on board to helping us find a solution and I couldn’t imagine working with anyone else.
Cory immediately told me about a space he had available off of Edgewood. It was a ton of square footage on a lake. I was open to it, but a little apprehensive about the location. We love being in Dixieland and the community we had there, it felt difficult to imagine not being there. As weird as it sounds I knew God was going to take all my desires for location, square footage, and aesthetics and put them together, I had so much peace about it.
The morning of going to look at the Edgewood location I met with my business consultants at We Are Curio. As I explained the space predicament and our option of the Edgewood location, they felt the same way about how awesome our current location was. They immediately suggested “what if Tomas moved and took the Edgewood location”. Some background info here, Tomas is my husband and his business was right next door to Balance Culture and we actually sublet from him at the time for an extremely discounted price. He has always believed in me and The Balance Culture and did everything he could on his end to help it get off the ground. It was actually his idea to have it be a space for my studio in the first place. Tomas is my business partner but first he is my husband and I couldn’t imagine kicking him out haha. I knew he was coming to tour this space with us so I decided I was gunna feel out the situation.
We got to the location and it was awesome. Super high ceilings, glass along the whole back of the building overlooking the lake but the location just didn’t seem to feel right. Tomas started walking around saying things like “you could have your first studio room here, and merchandise there” and I knew he was picturing everything through BC lenses and I didn’t want to leave there with him not remembering if it could work for what he needed because he wasn’t thinking about it in that way.
So I pulled him to the side and dropped the bomb. His response “sure!” haha he is so amazing you guys (that’s a whole other book 😉 ). He started walking around, talking numbers with Cory, and he was getting really excited. He really loved the space so it made me feel a little less guilty about the whole thing.
We left there that day and things began to move fast. Tomas started construction on the Edgewood space and had the goal to be out of his current location Oct. 1st, at that point it was September. From this moment on it it was a whirlwind, I felt like I was just riding this huge wave and going along with it but also had no idea what I was doing because it was happening so fast.
Tomas moved out, we bought our house and moved, and then immediately started construction on his old space knocking a million walls down and getting it BC ready. I learned a lot about construction turning this time frame. There were so many moving parts and now it was the holidays. We had a set open date of Jan. 2 and we needed to stick to it so we could accommodate our members and new resolutions.
I won’t lie to you guys I doubted myself easily a hundred times during this period.
Was it too soon? Was it going to be too big? Could we handle tripling in size over night? These thoughts kept me up at night.
The only thing I could do was trust God and keep moving forward.
Miraculously everything got done. We not only did the addition but we updated our current space, with renovating the whole front desk area and recarpeting all the floors.
I was nervous during this season, but I also had so much fun. I am extremely accomplishment driven, so when I walked in every morning and it looked a little closer to being completed, I would get so excited!
Monday, January 2nd we opened the doors to the new space and it took off. I hate that I even doubted, but things went to another level. There is no way we could have accommodated all the women had we stayed the same size. It became really clear, really fast that we had made the right choice. We brought about 6 more instructors onto the team and added 5 more interns. Our team is now at 35 women and we are more dedicated to the movement of The Balance Culture than ever!
God continues to prove Himself faithful and He continues to blow my mind.
STUDIO THREE (soon to be Spin room)
Tomas and I have been so humbled by everyone’s response since announcing our adoption. It’s crazy how much of a community we have and such a blessing to have all of you rallying behind us in this. We definitely don’t take that for granted and truly treasure what a...read more
Hi everyone!!! Super exciting news, we am so excited to FINALLY share we are adopting! I know you all have questions and we have answers, so we are going to try to do our best in explaining as much as possible and bringing you guys along this journey with us! So why...read more
SOOO many amazing things happening with The Balance Culture. I find myself constantly pinching myself, is this real life?!?! For those of you would don’t know, we are currently taking on our next big mission at the studio, which is adding a whole Spin studio. When we...read more
I posted how I make my bulletproof coffee on my Instagram story a few weeks ago and got so many questions about it so I thought it would be easiest to just write a full post about it 🙂 . Tomas and I have been drinking bulletproof coffee for almost a year and I am...read more
We had only been open nine months and I was confronted with the reality that we were we were out growing our studio space. I wrestled with this being the biggest blessing but also feeling like this whole thing was moving so fast and I felt a little out of control (of...read more